2017 AUTUMN BUDGET HIGHLIGHTS
There was very little new on personal tax changes. The manifesto commitment to raise the personal allowance to £12,500 and the higher rate threshold to £50,000 by 2020 has been retained. As steps towards this goal, the personal allowance for 2018/19 will increase to £11,850 and the higher rate threshold to £46,350.
The tax-free dividend allowance of £5,000 (more correctly described as a dividend nil rate band) was introduced from April 2016. As announced in the March 2017 Budget this is to be reduced to £2,000 from April 2018. No further changes to the taxation of dividends were announced in the Autumn 2017 Budget and the rates remain at 7.5%, 32.5% and 38.1% depending on the level of income.
There were few changes for smaller businesses. Indexation relief used in calculations of chargeable gains by companies will be frozen from 1 January 2018.
Research & development
The government will launch a campaign to increase awareness and encourage the take-up of R&D credits among smaller businesses and SMEs. The government will focus on businesses developing and using emerging technologies. For businesses making RDEC claims the government will pilot a new advance clearance service to increase certainty about tax relief available.
Housing and stamp duty
The Chancellor took steps to address the difficulty of the younger generation to get a foot on the property ladder by removing stamp duty land tax (SDLT) for first time buyers on the price of a property of up to £300,000, with relief available for the first £300,000 on property up to a value of £500,000. The total potential saving is £5,000.
Employment status consultation
The government will publish a consultation as part of its response to Matthew Taylor’s review of modern working practices published in July 2017, considering options for longer-term reform to make the employment status tests for both employment rights and tax clearer. The government recognises that this is an important and complex issue, and so will work with stakeholders to ensure that any potential changes are considered carefully.